Veganism for dummies: Read the label

A quick shopping trip for some kind of energy bar before hitting the gym yesterday offered an important reminder.

I swung by Safeway to pick up a Clif bar or two before working out because I hadn’t eaten anything at all that day and drank a cup of coffee, which sometimes gives me the jitters if I don’t send some food down there to soak some of it up.

I love Clif bars. They’re delicious and reliably vegan.*

But I couldn’t find them at the Safeway I went to. They shouldn’t be that hard to find, but every Safeway seems to be set up differently and I haven’t figured this one out yet. Wanting to just get to the gym before starting the night shift at work, I came upon a section of “natural” bars. It didn’t include Clif bars, but after a quick skim of the selection, I picked up a couple cranberry flax seed bars that seemed cheap and filling enough and continued on my way.

It wasn’t until I got into my car that I bothered to check the ingredients list for dairy. As is often the case, the list of contents is hidden under a flap in the packaging.

Powdered egg whites.


I ate them anyway (hey I spent $2.50 and I ain’t rich).

Lesson: CHECK THE LABEL. Often if you’re too lazy to read through all the indecipherable polysyllabic words in the ingredients list, you can just shoot to the bottom and it’ll tell you whether there’s milk/dairy. Next to where they tell you if there’s soy or nuts or other allergens.

Also, just because something’s in the “natural” section and the brand name is in some bullshit papyrus font does not mean it’s good for you.

*Clif Bars do say in their ingredients list that it may contain traces of dairy – probably because they’re made in a facility that produces other items that contain dairy. At this point in my journey that doesn’t bother me. I’m eliminating foods that intentionally contain dairy.


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